COVID-19 Quarantine Diaries Search for the Silver Lining

The quarantine hasn’t been easy. But I do recall my grandmother, Winnie Louise, always talking about the silver lining.

The quarantine has been beautiful and messy and exciting and frustrating and amazing and overwhelming and a hundred thousand other things all at the same time. What began over Spring Break (early March) has now been extended to May 8 (and I highly doubt it’ll end there). My business has been considered “non-essential” since the beginning of April and at this point, I am unsure of when I will be able to resume business as normal again. My business is more than a job, it’s my passion and it’s the culmination of a lifelong endeavor for me. I understand that social distancing is an act of love to protect those who are susceptible to this virus, but the mandated lockdown can at times feel like a nightmare.

For a single mom of two small girls who is creative and adventurous, but also prone to anxiety and has lived with ADHD for more than half of her life, to say that this quarntine has been a lot is an understatement.

Having small children during this iconic pandemic is double-sided. Most mornings, I wake up looking for the beauty of the day, trying to be fully present in the moments I hope I’ll remember forever. What a gift, to have all of this extra time with my girls. Moments like hiking down a new trail, watching my girls express themselves through so many creative projects and music, flying paper airplanes, learning more about the “real world” and watching their bond grow. But some days, I still fall apart before noon. Our extended time together puts everyone on the edge at times. But by bedtime I usually find a way to pick up the pieces and hang on to the magic of our day.

On the days I’m not with my girls, I get to spend time with my love, Trav. We quarantine a little differently (usually in Houston where he lives instead of Austin). We go for extreme outdoor adventures and ride our dirt bikes when we can. We make killer spicy margaritas (inspired by the Carlos Danger at La Grange in Houston). We watch Westworld and Outsiders and Ozark. He comes to Austin to help me with the girls when he can (he’s still trying to make deals happen during this time). I adore my time with him because I come out of it feeling rested and inspired to keep fighting through this in a way that ensures I come out stronger on the other side. Underneath, we know that all of this time together comes at a price. We are sacrificing deals and deposits into the bank account. But because we can’t change it and may as well make the most of it, worth it. Totally worth it.

The quarantine as a result of COVID-19 has delivered a great gift, but it has also stripped us of so many basic rights. I no longer have the right to run my business, as it’s considered “non-essential”. That creative outlet for me has gone, so I must persevere and find other ways to channel that energy. For now, it’s all about documenting life during the lockdown.

I am so ready for life outside of the home again. I’m ready for the kids to go back to school so they can learn and see their friends and teachers and for me to have time with my girlfriends and for the opportunity to capture memories with my clients, to be able to travel freely again, go to the lake on a packed boat and probably more than anything… I’m ready for a margarita (one that I didn’t make!) on a patio with all my people!

Back to the silver lining. I think we will all look back and be incredibly grateful for the extended time we had with the people we love. And not only that, but the quarantine also provides a moment of reflection on the things that matter. My hope is that when this is all over, we will live more freely, worry less about the small things, love harder and find joy in things we once took for granted.

A note to my fellow parents: if you’re doing the best you can (even if that’s significantly below your pre-coronavirus standards), you’re doing a great job. Hang in there. We will be poolside sipping mimosas again in no time.

I can’t help but think of the poster that hung on the wall in every one of the many apartments I rented through my twenties: “I love this crazy, tragic, sometimes almost magic, awful, beautiful life.”

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